Published on September 13th, 2014 | by Greg0
Pure Evoke F4: Worldwide Sounds
Internet radio has changed the audio landscape for many people- now, you can listen to streams from any country, instantaneously and live, without paying a nickel and without almost any restrictions. Sure, other music services have altered the way most people listen, and there is still plenty of use for FM radio bands as well, not to mention Europe’s popular digital DAB standard. If you need a small radio, one with slightly old-fashioned styling but very modern features, then PURE’s line have long been some of our favorites.
The PURE Evoke F4 is a portable internet radio that shares several similarities with it’s predecessor and brethren, the Evoke Flow. In the past, we’ve seen many other Pure audio products, including excellent speaker docks, as well as touchscreen models, and their recent Jongo family which offers whole-home music. Like some of their others, this is a true multi-function piece of gear capable of not only picking up your favorite stations over the airwaves, but also connecting to your smart devices.
Using Bluetooth, you can easily steam tracks from your iPhone or Android device, and there is even a USB port allowing you to connect a thumb drive and record audio to it. It’s a nice feature, as are the alarms and timers, which make it a perfect bedside or kitchen companion. The controls have improved from those we’ve seen previously- still touch sensitive. The OLED screen is bright enough to read easily even in daylight, fixing an issue we had seen in the past but causing another- it’s a bit too bright during after bed- and there is still an auxillary mini-jack input for sources that cannot connect any other way. There’s a handle for easy carrying, and a battery pack accessory that makes the F4 ready to go to the park, beach, or anywhere that there won’t be outlets. And in the coolest feature, the handle also doubles as a whackable snooze button to silence those pesky alarms.
We liked the sound quality, though it is a bit constrained by the size. It’s mono, rather than stereo, so there isn’t a lot of depth. It still has some weight though, with good enough bass and just a little distortion as you push the volume up. As before, one of the downsides of the Pure platform is the lack of the standard apps- there’s no support for Pandora, Spotify, etc, but instead you’ll have to use their proprietary service. The Pure Evoke F4 is solid, attractive, and offers quite a few great features. But if you’re tied to other services or systems (Sonos, Airplay among them), then it’s a bit harder to jump in. Available now, online and in stores, expect to spend around $230.